This is an amusing public domain video which was ripped from an old VHS recording. All of the available copies of this video came from the same deteriorated film. The original film may have been recorded from a collector's copy, or possibly from an old late night movie program. Various vendors have marketed copies all coming from the same source, and possibly from the same VHS copy. At last count there are several vendors, Alpha, Nostalgia Family Video, Anchor Videos, Vci Home Video and others. The older Nostalgia version is available in VHS while the Alpha version is a DVD. The Alpha DVD has slightly better black and white definition which gives the impression of more detail, but it has much much more noise. Both versions have the identical jumps, blackouts during scene changes, and film spots. But the Alpha DVD has enlarged the picture slightly which cuts off important details, and it has cut out parts of several scenes because of bad framing or blank picture. The Nostalgia video is a more complete version and appears to have slightly sharper picture with less noise. The original source was poorly transferred to VHS, or broadcast using old technology. In particular the video was poorly copied and the technician did not pay attention to the framing.
The copy available here has been carefully transferred from a fairly complete VHS version. Using VirtualDub the video was stabilized and a large amount of the obtrusive noise was removed. The audio was carefully denoised with care taken to preserve the train sound effects. Obtrusive noises due to the deteriorated film were removed by hand. Some video jumps and the scene blackouts were corrected by hand, but some jumps due to missing frames can not be fixed. Blank video was filled in with adjacent frames or reasonable stills captured from adjacent frames. The bad framing was partially fixed, but could not be completely fixed with the available technology. A more carefully transferred version would be welcome.
The result is a much more watchable copy of this movie. It may not be considered a "classic" film, but it has a number of good actors and is representative of Hollywood films of the mid '30s. It could even classify as an early science fiction because of the futuristic high speed monorail train. While the âtrainâ looked streamlined, the bloated size would cause large wind resistance, and severely limit its speed. Actually it was not really a train because it only had one car, so it might be considered to be a high speed street car. The futuristic interior design later appeared in many other science fiction films.
The basic story concerns a tiff between a producer played by Victor Jory and his runaway star actress played by Evelyn Venable. The action mainly takes place on the Streamline Express, a high speed coast to coast monorail. Other stories are intertwined with the main story, and the usual Hollywood happy ending ensues, after some comical and suspenseful scenes.
June 10, 2013 Subject:
Does someone have a better copy?
If anyone has a better copy direct from 16mm I would like to get it. The VHS copy had some bad processing, bad framing, and missing sections of scenes. Some sort of automatic exposure control ran amok, so it needed lots of corrections, but it was not possible to restore missing video except by filling in with nearby frames.
June 8, 2013 Subject:
I actually thought this was a pretty funny movie, even the end. The film was originally released five days I was born. My parents might well have seen it on the weekend, for 25 cents admission. Not a great movie, but a good one.
June 8, 2013 Subject:
I had this copied direct from 16mm
I had this title direct from a 16mm print copied direct from 16mm without any of those foolish, needless and invasive watermarks "distributors" feel they need to deface the movies with. I would never consider putting a logo or a watermark on a public domain title to denote that I ''own" the rights to that particular copy.
August 10, 2011 Subject:
Thanks for a neatly done restoration job! Also in 1935, Cannuck Victor Jory was mighty Oberon, in Reinhardt's superb "Midsummer Night's Dream" production.
January 23, 2011 Subject:
Great restoration job.
September 16, 2010 Subject:
Nice comedy with a slight about people coming together in a futuristic train, every passenger has his own motives for making this journey, more or less romantic. They get involved in each other´s story, so the train is a monorail but the storline isn´t. Yes, it is quite predictable, but dialogue is good and acting are good. I like the way Victor Jory acts. I´m not sure, but the dialog in one scene seems to be kind of an „inside joke“ for people who knew Jory´s life before he started his acting career (his boxing/wrestling ability).
The designers of the train maybe had one of these pictures in mind. It looks quite similar and was published in february 1934.
September 15, 2010 Subject:
This is a good one!
I really enjoyed this one, and I too found it predictable but I still highly recommend watching it. And I really dug that crazy-looking rocket train.
The picture is crisp, and the volume is great. I wish all of the movies here had such outstanding picture and sound.
September 14, 2010 Subject:
A Good Time Was Had By All
This is a predictable romantic comedy (seems like they all are, though), with good acting and dialog. Once the story moves to the train, the pacing slows more than I would have liked. There are some good comedy bits early in the story. The train is one of those '30s fantasies reminiscent of the boat-like airplane in Non Stop New York. The music used throughout is identical to the opening theme used in the movie serial Undersea Kingdom composed by Arthur Kay.
I downloaded the 1.1GB MPEG4 file. All the work done restoring the movie appears to have paid off. Video quality was quite good, and the audio was clear of the usual low level hiss I often hear in old movies.
September 14, 2010 Subject:
The audio and video both excellent, especially considering the VHS source as well as the age of the fikm. Nicely done!